Latinos to hold congress in L.A.
Feds arrest 2,100
Minuteman founder denies support of bill - Congressman claimed backing of immigration compromise
Ex-California governor says GOP timid on immigration
Bush snubbed us
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to hold congress in L.A.
Nationwide gathering set for September
BY RACHEL URANGA, Staff Writer 6/09/2006 12:00 AM
LA Daily News
Inspired by the millions of immigrants who took to the streets to demand legal residency, Latino advocacy groups and politicians have called for a national Latino congress to keep the issue in the political spotlight. Organizers are inviting leaders from across the political spectrum to Los Angeles - the country's Latino epicenter - to draft an agenda for strengthening [illegal] immigrant rights, health care and education.
"These mobilizations have shown that the immigrant community and the Latino community have political potential in impacting public policy," said Angela Sanbrano, president of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities. "But we cannot assume that we are unified." In fact, a number of groups favoring tighter controls on illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America count Latino residents among their members.
Joe Turner, founder of Save Our State, a group that has been picketing against undocumented workers at day-labor sites in Glendale and around the region, said efforts like forming the Latino congress help to strengthen groups like his. "Any call for amnesty this supports is only going to create a backlash," he said.
More than half a dozen immigrant-rights advocacy groups, including the League of United Latin American Cities and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, will sponsor the four-day conference Sept. 6-10 to set a long-term agenda and action plan to improve the lives of immigrants. But observers say organizers need to be careful not to further divide Americans on the red-hot issue of immigration. "While you want to mobilize, you don't want to create a countermobilization, and that is very difficult not to do," said Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. Still, he said a Latino congress, modeled after similar ethnic and civil-rights conventions held during the 1970s, would be a turning point in Latino politics.
"Latinos have done a tremendous job in electoral politics, but I think you are, in 2006, seeing a watershed moment for nonelectoral political organizing in the United States." Organizers are inviting Latino leaders - now about 5,000 - from government and chambers of commerce, as well as from the National Council of La Raza. Its success and impact will depend, in part, on who turns up. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been invited but his office did not return calls to say whether he planned to attend. Organizers aim to have the country's largest gathering of Latino power assembled.
"We are inviting the whole family," joked Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a nonprofit Latino voter research group. "(Latinos) control cities, we have people in the Senate and we are going to only get more prominent, but on the other hand (Latinos) are not giving the policy benefits to the community we should."
Latinos have achieved political clout in Los Angeles, but they have less access to health care and are poorer than the general population. Nearly half of Latino students drop out of high school.
Feds arrest 2,100 in illegals sweep Operation Return to Sender sends agents across country to target violent criminals
Posted: June 14, 2006 5:00 p.m. Eastern © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
In a nationwide blitz called Operation Return to Sender, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have arrested nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants since May 26.
Officials are targeting child molesters, gang members, violent criminals and others, who have returned to the country after being deported by a judge, the Associated Press reported. "This sends a message," said deportation officer Daniel Monico after a raid in Boston. "When we deport you, we're serious." Monico and a swarm of agents surrounded an apartment house last night to arrest 35-year-old Jose Ferreira Da Silva, a Brazilian who had been deported after his arrest in 2002.
Among the illegals arrested in the nationwide blitz are 140 convicted for sexual offenses against children, 367 known gang members and about 640 people who already had been deported, the AP said. Since the effort began, more than 800 people arrested have been deported. "This is a massive operation," said Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the immigration section of the Department of Homeland Security. "We are watching the country's borders from the inside."
The agency's network of 35 fugitive teams will be boosted to 52 with the 2006 budget, and the Bush administration is lobbying for 70. Officials estimate there are more than 500,000 "fugitive aliens" who have been deported by judges and either returned to the country or never left.
The AP said the work that led to a series of arrests over the past 20 days began last winter as agents followed up leads and scouted targets. Raimondi said the "problems with immigration aren't going to be solved overnight." "You start chipping away at it," he said. "The more teams we get up and running, the more dangerous people we are going to get off the streets."
As WorldNetDaily reported, after a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimated there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.
She concluded that, based on a figure of 12 million illegal immigrants and the fact that more of this population is male than average, sex offenders among illegals make up a higher percentage than offenders in the general population.
Minuteman founder denies support of bill - Congressman claimed backing of immigration compromise
Posted: June 14, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Jim Gilchrist (Courtesy Orange County Register)
Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist says he does not support a compromise immigration proposal by Rep Mike Pence, R-Ind., despite the congressman's claim to the contrary.
Pence told a Republican Study Group mini-retreat Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., that Gilchrist backs his plan to form worker-placement centers outside the U.S.
But Gilchrist clarified to WorldNetDaily his remarks to Pence.
"I congratulated Congressman Pence on putting forth alternatives, "Gilchrist explained, "but that does not mean I think the alternatives Congressman Pence proposed are the solution. Quite frankly, I don't."
Gilchrist said the "only solution that has any chance of work is for us to close the borders first, before we start talking about any kind of a guest worker program."
He believes the bill by Rep. James Sensenbrenner that passed the House (HR 4437) is the only solution, not the Kennedy-McCain bill passed by the Senate (S. 2163) or the Pence compromise.
Pence has proposed creating private worker-placement agencies outside the U.S., "Ellis Island Centers," that would be licensed by the federal government to match foreign workers with jobs that U.S. employers cannot fill with domestic workers.
Illegal immigrants would first have to leave the U.S. and then re-enter, only after they had received a guest-worker permit from one of the "Ellis Island Centers" established to screen them for re-entry.
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.
WND pressed Gilchrist on whether he thought there was any merit to this idea.
"These placement centers are simply impractical," Gilchrist replied. "It's going to be like showing up to get a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card. Before you know it, every one of the probably 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. already will claim to have been at one of Pence's centers to get a pass. How are you going to stop the black market in fraudulent documents from forging these passes?"
Gilchrist especially was pessimistic about the idea that Pence's guest-worker suggestion would be enforced.
"What is Congressman Pence going to do if the illegal immigrants just refuse to leave the U.S. to go to one of his centers?" Gilchrist asked. "Is he going to round them up and deport them? I don't think so."
WND asked Gilchrist if he thought employers would respect the guest worker provisions of the Pence plan.
"We have enforcement provisions now that we don't enforce, why should Mike Pence's plan be any different?" Gilchrist answered. "The 1986 law makes it a crime for an U.S. employer to hire an illegal alien today. Why don't we just start by enforcing that law?"
Gilchrist said the U.S. has "millions of illegal aliens being paid under the table by large employers who are openly committing payroll tax fraud and Congressman Pence's proposal just assumes employers are going to quit doing this? I don't think so. Employers are not going to check for Mike Pence's guest worker passes any more than today they fill out the forms I-9 INS forms required by the 1986 law."
WND asked Gilchrist if he had given Pence permission to say the Minuteman Project had endorsed the compromise.
"No," Gilchrist responded, "we did not give Congressman Pence that permission. We admire that attempt to compromise, but any compromise that does not first secure the border and enforce our current laws is going to end up accomplishing nothing." Under Pence's plan, Gilchrist said, "the end result would be that the illegal immigrants already here would just stay and more would feel an open invite to cross the border, assuming they would be 'guest workers' one way or the other."
WND asked Gilchrist whether he considered the Pence compromise to be an amnesty program.
"The Pence plan is going to end up being an amnesty just like all the other guest worker plans," Gilchrist responded. "No matter how you package the idea, as soon you open up the idea that guest workers can stay, every illegal immigrant wanting to be in the U.S. immediately reclassifies themselves as a guest worker.
"Is Pence's bill going to have the billions needed for law enforcement to prove otherwise? Again, I don't think so."
governor says GOP timid on immigration
Wilson claims lawmakers fear being called racist
By GEBE MARTINEZ
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The political godfather of California's initiatives against illegal immigrants in the 1990s said Monday that lawmakers who favor citizenship opportunities for such workers do so only because they are afraid of being labeled racists and nativists.
"I think a great many Republicans have been intimidated, and I, frankly, am quite disappointed," former California Gov. Pete Wilson said during a speech at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.
Calling illegal immigration a threat to the nation's security and culture, the Republican also called for a fence to be built along the entire 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border before a path to citizenship is offered to the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country.
Wilson refrained from directly criticizing President Bush, a longtime friend who has appointed him to foreign policy advisory boards. Bush supports a guest worker program and other facets of the Senate bill that includes an "earned citizenship"program.
Instead, Wilson directed his criticism at the Senate.
"I don't trust the Senate. They are looking for another stopgap. They are temporizing. They are not facing the issue because it's politically unpalatable," said Wilson, also a former senator.
Wilson added that advocates of immigration controls believe their tax dollars are being used to support services for illegal immigrants.
"That is not racist, it is not nativist," he said.
As governor, Wilson pushed for Prop. 187, a 1994 initiative that denied state funding for health care and education services to illegal immigrants. The initiative passed but was overturned by a federal court; California has been a safe Democratic state in presidential elections since then.
In the Los Angeles Times, the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, recently said Wilson fell prey to the idea of short-term political advantage when he backed the initiative.
"I know he felt he was doing the right thing, but matters are worse now and the Republican Party is now the minority party in California," Bush said.
Tamar Jacoby, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, agreed that an enforcement-only bill without Bush's approach will hurt the party's outreach to Hispanics.
"One of the most dangerous pitfalls facing the Republican Party this year is that the party does again on a national scale what it did in California under Pete Wilson," she said.
The problem in California was the anti-Hispanic tone that enveloped the initiative campaign, Jacoby added. She recalled the television ad that contained night vision video of illegal border crossings and the narrator's deep voice warning: "They keep coming."
Wilson discounted punditry that suggests Republicans were hurt by the Prop. 187 campaign. He also defended the ad.
"Liberal critics of that ad may not have liked it then or now, but it is beyond dispute. They did keep coming," he said.
Border officials: Bush snubbed us,
Refuses meeting for 2nd time on security, GOP lawmakers set investigative hearings
Posted: June 16, 2006 5:45 a.m. Eastern © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
In a move that has angered lawmakers and sheriffs, President Bush refused to meet with border law enforcement officials in Texas for a second time, prompting some Republican congress members to schedule hearings.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, a member of the House subcommittee on international terrorism and nonproliferation, said the administration has shown a seeming lack of concern for border security, the San Bernardino Sun reported. Poe has pushed for the hearings in San Diego and Laredo, Texas, early next month, hoping they will expose the border situation to the public and force action by the administration.
The congressman said that in his two trips to the border this year he witnessed long, barren stretches with no security and numerous illegals crossing into the U.S. "The next terrorist is not going to come in through screening at Kennedy airport," Poe told the Sun. "We already have information that people from the Middle East have come through the border from Mexico. They assimilate in Mexico learning to speak Spanish and adopt customs and then they cross the border into the United States."
Poe said a group that includes all 26 border county sheriffs from California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas – the Southwestern Sheriffs' Border Coalition – wanted to speak to the president on the increasingly dangerous situation along the border. "The president is the busiest man in the world but he needs to take the time to talk to the border sheriffs and learn what's happening in the real world from them," Poe said. "We can't understand why he refuses to meet with them." The first rejection from the president came in May when the entire Republican House contingent from Texas went to the nation's capital to meet with the president on border security. In place of the president, however, the White House sent former presidential spokesman Scott McClellan.
A letter issued Monday by the White House illustrates how out of touch the administration is with the American people, Poe contends. Signed by La Rhonda M. Houston, deputy director of the Office of Appointments and Scheduling, the letter said:
Sheriff's coalition spokesman Rick Glancey said his members are angry and disappointed. "It's a slap in the face to the hardworking men and women on the front lines of rural America who every day engage in border security issues," Glancey told the San Bernardino paper. "He missed the opportunity to take off his White House cowboy boots and put some real cowboy boots on, and walk in our shoes for a few minutes." White House spokesman David Almacy insisted President Bush "is committed to ensuring that our nation's borders are secure."
"This month, 6,000 National Guard members were deployed to assist the Border Patrol and other inter-agency partners," he said. "The president has also increased federal funding that will give state and local authorities the specialized training needed to help federal officers apprehend and detain illegal immigrants."
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